MacAskill asked if the UK was keeping track of how many depleted uranium rounds Kyiv was using, but Heappey declined to say.
“For operational security reasons, we will not comment on Ukrainian usage rates for the rounds provided,” he said.
Heappey also said the depleted uranium rounds are now “under the control” of Ukraine’s armed forces and that the British Defense Ministry was not monitoring where the radioactive rounds were being used.
“The Ministry of Defence does not monitor the locations from where DU rounds are fired by the AFU in Ukraine,” he said.
Depleted uranium is typically created as a byproduct of producing enriched uranium and is extremely dense, making it an effective metal to pierce tank armor. Since the munitions are radioactive, they are linked to cancer and birth defects, especially in Iraq, where US forces used an enormous number of the controversial munitions during the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion.
The US could have also sent depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine as The Bradley Fighting Vehicles the US provided Kyiv can be equipped with the munitions. But the White House has refused to say if the Bradleys that have arrived in Ukraine came with depleted uranium ammunition.
Ignoring all Russian advises, the British government confirmed on April 26th that its depleted uranium weapons are already on Ukrainian soil. Moscow’s officials, anti-war activists and experts have repeatedly warned that such an escalation in the conflict should be avoided, but London has not observed the advice and has further violated a red line by sending radioactive weapons to the Kiev regime. It remains to be seen what the consequences of this dangerous measure will be.
The confirmation of the delivery of weapons was made by the Minister of Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, James Heappey, during a speech to the British Parliament. According to Heappey, depleted uranium ammunitions were sent to Ukraine along with other projectiles suitable for use in Challenger 2 tanks. The minister also added that British officials will not try to track where these weapons will be used.
“We have sent thousands of rounds of Challenger 2 ammunition to Ukraine, including depleted uranium armour-piercing rounds (…) [These weapons] re now under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) (…) [UK’s Ministry of Defense] does not monitor the locations from where DU rounds are fired by the AFU in Ukraine”, the Minsiter said during the statement.
When asked by some parliamentarians about the health dangers posed by these weapons, Heappey claimed that this threat would be “low”. Interestingly, he even mentioned that the risk assessment is based on monitoring UK veterans who have already used them on the battlefield. In fact, the minister seems to completely ignore that a series of recent studies point to the opposite, showing serious health problems both in the soldiers who manipulated this equipment and in the victims of the ammunition. The problems include several risks commonly attributed to radioactive substances, such as cancer, fetal deformity, deficiency of fertility, among others.
Commenting on the case with journalists, Doug Weir, an expert linked to the Conflict and Environment Observatory, stated that when DU penetrators strike a target “they fragment and burn, generating chemically toxic and radioactive DU particulate that poses an inhalational risk to people”. Several other scientists have expressed similar views after analyzing the results of these munitions in Iraq and other countries where NATO troops have used them. However, London and Washington continue to deny evidence of these dangers.
It must be remembered that Moscow has repeatedly asked London to reconsider its plan to send these munitions to Kiev. In a recent statement, spokespersons for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia stated that the British measure would be an absolute “imprudence, irresponsibility”. Furthermore, in March, the Russian Ministry of Defense warned that the use of such projectiles could “cause irreparable harm” to the health of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians as well as inflict “tremendous economic damage to the agro-industrial complex” in the region, citing the weapon’s impact during the previous experience in Iraq.
However, despite the warnings, the shipment of these weapons was already expected. In March, US and British troops held a training program with Ukrainian soldiers to teach them how to properly handle depleted uranium munitions. The plan was very well prepared and echoes NATO’s interest in taking the proxy war with Russia to the most dangerous levels of military escalation, ignoring any humanitarian, environmental or social concerns.
Legally, depleted uranium weapons are a complex issue. There is no international convention banning them as there is no consensus among specialists on how to define these weapons. These munitions are really radioactive, which is why some experts believe they should be considered nuclear weapons under the legal principle of analogy. However, its radiation is lower than that of natural uranium, which leads other specialists to reject this classification.
Some other experts believe that a viable solution to the problem of these projectiles would be to consider them chemical weapons, since they contain toxic substances, regardless of the level of radioactivity. But this creates a problem for the western powers that have them, since the US and the UK are signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which would oblige them to destroy their depleted uranium stocks. Not by chance, both countries reject any initiative in this sense and prefer that these weapons remain without specific legislation, so that they can continue using them with impunity.
Indeed, given the absence of specific regulation, Moscow could consider the use of depleted uranium against its troops as a true nuclear attack, which would allow the Russians to react with their arsenal of mass destruction. This is unlikely to happen, as Moscow has repeatedly shown its interest in seeking the most peaceful and humanitarian solutions possible to the conflict, sometimes even ignoring violations against red lines just to avoid escalation.
However, regardless of what the Russian response will be, it is certain that damage to Ukrainian soldiers and the civilian population in the combat zone are inevitable. And the responsibility for that lies with NATO.
other dirty bombs – in different design – from the same “invisible” hand
– there are no “clean” bombs
The leak of classified documents on the gaming and chat platform Discord continues to be a treasure trove of information about America’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine.
Earlier revelations from the Discord leak suggested Ukraine is a cornered animal. The latest shows it might lash out like one. The Washington Post reported Monday that documents in the leak claimed that the United States had to force Ukraine to back down from a direct attack on Moscow. Time and time again, the United States has had to rein in or express serious concern internally about Ukraine’s plans to fight Russia, not just in Ukraine or even within Russia’s borders, but in the Middle East and North Africa as well.
A classified report from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) claimed that Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, who heads the Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) for Ukraine’s defense ministry, instructed one of his officers on February 13 “to get ready for mass strikes on 24 February.” Ukraine was to strike “with everything the HUR had.” The NSA report also said Ukrainian officials joked about using TNT to strike Novorossiysk, a Black Sea port city east of the Crimean Peninsula. The Post asserted such an operation would be “largely symbolic,” but “would nevertheless demonstrate Ukraine’s ability to hit deep inside enemy territory.”
Budanov has a reputation for being a loose cannon. Previously, he claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was terminally ill and employed body doubles for public appearances. He is apparently convinced that Ukraine will overwhelm and repel the Russian invasion, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, sometime this summer. Which is why it appears the U.S. intelligence apparatus has taken up monitoring Budanov’s moves and communications. And Budanov appears to know it. The Post added that, when it has interviewed Budanov on occasion since the outbreak of the war, reporters have heard white noise or music in the background of the major general’s office.
This time, however, it appears the United States prevented the loose cannon from going off. On February 22, the CIA internally circulated a classified report that the HUR “had agreed, at Washington’s request, to postpone strikes” on Moscow. Nevertheless, the CIA also said “there is no indication” that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had “agreed to postpone its own plans to attack Moscow around the same date.”
The SBU also apparently held off any plans it may have had for striking deep into Russian territory on the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion. The United States’s efforts to discourage Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory only lasted so long, however. About a week after the anniversary of the Russian invasion, the Kremlin accused Ukrainian drones of striking infrastructure relatively close to Moscow.
Such drone attacks are par for the course in Ukraine’s recent military operations inside Russian territory. Last October, Russia accused Ukraine of drone strikes against its Black Sea fleet in Crimea. Though the authenticity has not been confirmed, video footage shows a drone heading towards a ship as what appears to be gunfire hits the water around the Russian vessel. The Kremlin claimed a minesweeper was damaged in the attack. Then in December, Ukrainian drones reportedly struck Engels-2, a military air-base about 400 miles inside Russian territory. Drones also struck two other military airfields and an oil facility in the Kursk province.
Ukraine appears to now be reaching further into Russian territory and is less ambiguous about its involvement in these attacks. Earlier on in the conflict, Ukraine often denied playing a role in attacks on Russian installations and infrastructure within its borders, such as the car-bombing incident in August 2022 that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin, a Russian nationalist and staunch supporter of Russia’s invasion. Despite repeated Ukrainian denials, the U.S. intelligence community believes Ukraine was behind the attack.
In an interview with the Post in January, however, Budanov simultaneously denied Ukraine’s involvement in many of these attacks and claimed that they would continue. Such attacks “shattered their illusions of safety,” Budanov reportedly claimed.
“There are people who plant explosives. There are drones. Until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored, there will be problems inside Russia.”
Other revelations from the Discord-leaked documents: Ukraine wants to expand the scope of the conflict beyond that of continental Europe and take the Russians to task in the Middle East and North Africa. The NSA report claimed that Budanov’s HUR planned to attack the Wagner Group—a Russian military contractor with a reputation for brutality whose members have assisted in the Ukraine offensive—in the African country of Mali. The Wagner Group’s services are retained by the government of Mali for security and training their own military forces.
The NSA document said, “It is unknown what stage the operations [in Mali] were currently in and whether the HUR has received approval to execute its plans,” according to the Post.
At the same time, the HUR was developing plans to strike Russian forces in Syria by partnering with the Kurds. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly put the kibosh on the special operations offensive in the Middle East, but at least one of the documents reviewed by the Post claimed that efforts to attack Russian assets in Syria that avoid Ukrainian culpability may still be on the table for the Ukrainian government.
Are these not plans for a world war? Would the United States not be responsible if the Ukrainian government, which both militarily and financially would be defunct without nearly $100 billion in U.S. aid, decided to go forward with such plans?
The Biden administration would deny any culpability in starting World War III, of course. It would point to the fact that the U.S. prohibits using the military aid it gives Ukraine to strike Russia. Thus, the United States retains much say over Ukraine’s battle plans and has successfully thwarted grand Ukrainian plans to strike Moscow and several other core Russian targets on separate occasions.
Ukrainian officials have admitted this in private, too. Oftentimes, if Ukraine wants to use a rocket system provided by the United States to strike a target, U.S. military personnel in Europe either have to confirm the coordinates or provide the coordinates themselves.
The Biden administration and the foreign policy blob that supports the United States involvement in Ukraine might think this makes our involvement sound all the better. It doesn’t. It reveals who is really waging this war against Russia. Ukraine, which has been a money-laundering operation for the well-connected in the West for the last decade (see Hunter Biden), continues to be just that. Ukraine is the American liberal empire’s proxy in the truest sense.
The weapons systems, ammunition, and military equipment the United States provides Ukraine maintains a certain level of fungibility—and aid dollars more so than the physical equipment. Providing military aid, even with the current strings attached, expands Ukraine’s pool of resources, meaning they can devote what is “theirs” to operations and theaters that suit their fancy.
Restraining Ukraine is becoming increasingly difficult, and funding Ukraine’s military efforts increasingly risky. That much is clear from America’s own assessment of Ukraine’s war plans revealed in the Discord leak. Heads should roll at the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House for blindly walking into a conflict that Ukraine wants to go global
( these excerpts can be found at globalresearch(dot)ca )
“chainreaction and chinasyndrome”
The lies, the violence and the buttomless new low´s of moral and intellectual capacity ( or lack thereof ) is reaching a stage of “chainreaction and chinasyndrome” , which probably is the reason why there are practically no reactions among people in general any more. A paralysis and human degredation follow that stage – understandably, but yet with ramifications and serious implications.
What is left of human remains is more comparable with biological herdreactions among animals – with one important exception : among animals herdreactions are mainly rational, constructive and secure survival for most of the members – among humans the “herdreactions” are the opposite : more irrational, more destructive, more dangerous, more deadly – more like “psychic epidemics/masspsychosis”( doing potentially more harm than the worst natural disasters, according to C. G. Jung ) – even with far reaching consequenses for other living beings.
Peace Research Institute / Jan Øberg : Short, clear and precise analysis of Nato
Irak – konsekvenserne af anvendelse af depleted uranium :
( in norvegian – in english below )
Ammunisjon med utarmet uran har blitt sendt til Ukraina, noe som ble bekreftet av den britiske forsvarsminister James Heappey forrige uke. Storbritannia kunngjorde i forrige måned at de ville sende ammunisjonen til bruk med Challenger 2-stridsvogner i Ukraina, et trekk som umiddelbart eskalerte kjernefysiske spenninger med Russland, president Vladimir Putin truet med å plassere taktiske atomvåpen i Hviterussland bare noen dager senere.
Det britiske trekket kommer midt i indikasjoner på at Kiev er stadig mer desperat, til det punktet at Kiev er villig til å svi av den jorda de kjemper for.
I løpet av de siste månedene har dokumenter som har kommet fram som en del av Pentagon-lekkasjen vist at ukrainske styrker har det langt verre enn tidligere rapportert av konsernmedier. Som har vist tidligere viser de lekkede dokumentene at «den lenge planlagte ukrainske offensiven vil mislykkes.»
Storbritannias beslutning om å sende ammunisjon med utarmet uran til Ukraina representerer mer enn en farlig eskalering i Vestens proxy-krig med en atomvåpenmakt. Det er et eksempel på Ukrainas vilje til å angripe den etniske russiske befolkningen i det østlige Ukraina og forgifte landet det prøver å beholde, men vet at det ikke vil være i stand til det. Utarmet uran vil ha effekter ikke bare på russiske soldater, men også på sivilbefolkningen i årene som kommer.
Russland grep inn i Ukraina etter åtte års krig fra Kiev mot de etniske russerne i øst som hadde erklært uavhengighet fra Ukraina etter det USA-støttede kuppet i 2014.
Amerikanske og britiske konsernmedier ser ut til å avfeie bekymringene for russisk atomeskalering som svar på bruken av utarmet uran, og den offisielle linja i Vesten er at slike våpen representerer en lav miljørisiko.
Det er imidlertid tungtveiende grunner til å stille spørsmål ved den offisielle holdninga. Runder med utarmet uran ble brukt av amerikanske styrker i begge Irak-krigene, så vel som på Balkan på 1990-tallet. Ammunisjon med utarmet uran er tyngre enn bly og brukes vanligvis til å gjennombore pansringen på stridsvogner. Ved støt mot metall skjærer, brenner og fordamper det. Denne prosessen produserer giftig radioaktivt støv.
En rapport fra The Guardian fra 1999 gjenga holdninga til forskere som uttalte seg i forbindelse med bombinga av Kosovo med utarmet uran: «En enkelt partikkel av utarmet uran som sitter fast i lymfeknuten kan ødelegge hele immunsystemet.»
I John Pilgers film som dokumenterer Irak etter den første Gulf-krigen, Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq, snakket han med leger i Basra hvor de rapporterte om flere ganger økning i antall kreftdødsfall. Pilger snakket også med en irakisk barnelege som beskrev en tilstrømning av medfødte misdannelser som man aldri hadde sett før krigen.
Når det gjelder den andre Irak-krigen, ble de mest slående rapporterte effektene av utarmet og andre giftige stoffer sett i Fallujah, der amerikanske styrker bombet nådeløst i 2004.
Økningan i fødselsdefekter i Irak har blitt kalt «katastrofale», og The Guardian gikk så langt som å publisere et stykke i 2014 som anklaget Verdens helseorganisasjon for å dekke over det «atommarerittet» som ble etterlatt i Fallujah av USA og Storbritannia. Andre har sammenlignet byens helsekrise med den etter USAs atomangrep på Hiroshima.
Er dette fremtida for generasjoner av etniske russere i Ukraina?
Ukraina har kurs mot å tape, om enn sakte, på slagmarka, hva kan man oppnå ved å ta ut noen flere russiske stridsvogner hvis det permanent gjør landet til en fare for innbyggerne, gjennomsyret av giftige støvpartikler av radioaktivt tungmetall? Hvordan kan denne avgjørelsen sees på som noe annet enn en ondskapsfull innrømmelse av at landet går tapt, og at det å «salte» det er en siste handling av ondskap mot etniske russere i Donbass?
( same as above )
Depleted uranium shells have been sent to Ukraine, as confirmed by U.K. Armed Forces Minister James Heappey last week. Britain announced last month that it would send the munitions for use with Challenger 2 tanks in Ukraine, a move that immediately escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, with President Vladimir Putin threatening to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus just days later.
The U.K. move comes amid indications that Kiev is increasingly desperate, to the point of being willing to risk scorching the earth it is fighting for.
Over the last few months documents emerging as part of the Pentagon leak have shown Ukrainian forces are faring far worse than previously reported by corporate media. As reported by Consortium News, the leaked documents “show the long-planned Ukrainian offensive will fail miserably.”
Britain’s decision to send depleted uranium rounds to Ukraine represents more than a dangerous escalation in the West’s proxy war with a nuclear-armed power. It is an example of Ukraine’s willingness to target the ethnic Russian population in eastern Ukraine and poison the land it is attempting to retain, but knows it won’t be able to. Depleted uranium will have effects not only on Russian fighters but also on the civilian population for years to come.
Russia intervened in Ukraine after eight years of war by Kiev against the ethnic Russians in the east who declared independence from Ukraine after the U.S.-backed 2014 coup.
The U.S. and British corporate media appear to dismiss concerns of Russian nuclear escalation in response to the use of depleted uranium rounds, and the official line in the West is that such weapons represent a low environmental risk.
However, there are compelling reasons to question the official stance. Depleted uranium rounds were used by U.S. forces in both Iraq wars, as well as in the Balkans in the 1990s. Depleted uranium munitions are heavier than lead and are typically used to pierce the armor of tanks. On impact the metal shears, burns and vaporizes. This process produces toxic radioactive dust.
A 1999 report by The Guardian related the sentiments of scientists speaking in regards to bombing Kosovo with depleted uranium: “One single particle of depleted uranium lodged in the lymph node can devastate the entire immune system.”
In John Pilger’s film documenting Iraq after the first Gulf War, Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq, he spoke with doctors in Basra where they reported a 10-fold increase in cancer deaths. Pilger also spoke with an Iraqi pediatrician who described an influx of congenital deformities never seen before the war.
In the case of the second Iraq War, the most striking reported effects of depleted uranium and other toxic substances were seen in Fallujah, where U.S. forces bombed mercilessly in 2004.
The rise in birth defects in Iraq have been called “catastrophic,” and The Guardian went so far as to publish a piece in 2014 that accused the World Health Organization of covering up the “nuclear nightmare” left behind in Fallujah by the U.S. and U.K. Others have compared the city’s health crisis with that following the U.S. nuclear attack on Hiroshima.
Is this the future faced by generations of ethnic Russians in Ukraine?
With Ukraine set to lose, if slowly, on the battlefield, what is to be gained by taking out a few more Russian tanks if it permanently renders the land a danger to its inhabitants, permeated with toxic dust particles of radioactive heavy metal? How can this decision be viewed as anything but a spiteful admission that that land is being lost, and that “salting” it is a final act of malice against ethnic Russians in Donbass?
“Almost 10 years of extraordinary isolation imposed by the UN and enforced by America and Britain have killed more people than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan.”
Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq is a powerful indictment of the largely unreported effects of United Nations sanctions following the 1991 Gulf War, most strikingly, the 500,000 children among more than one million Iraqis who died in almost 10 years of sanctions, figures verified by UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) and other UN agencies.
John Pilger describes it as “the most comprehensive embargo in modern history against a country” and asks why 21 million people are “being punished for the crimes of a dictator, Saddam Hussein”. Iraq, which in 1989 had one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world, as well as universal, free healthcare and education, now has one of the highest. Remarkably, the United States and Britain are continuing to bomb Iraq almost every day, with civilians accounting for a third of the casualties.
Paying the Price is dominated by scenes of malnourished and dying Iraqi children whose treatment is affected by the intermittent supply of drugs while clean water, fresh food, soap, paper, pencils, books, and light bulbs are no longer available or extremely limited in supply.
In a Baghdad cancer clinic, Denis Halliday, who in 1998 resigned from the UN over the sanctions and intervened personally to save the lives of some children, tells Pilger: “I think in this hospital we’ve seen today evidence of the killing that is now the responsibility of the Security Council member states, particularly, I think, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.” American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, previously asked on American television whether the deaths of more than 500,000 children was a price worth paying, answered: “We think the price is worth it.”
In the south of the country, Pilger reports on another lethal result of the Gulf War, which followed Sadam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The Americans used depleted uranium in shells and missiles fired by their tanks and aircraft. Wind and dust carried the radiation across the towns and villages of southern Iraq, creating what one specialist describes as “a cancer epidemic that is likely to strike almost half the population”. The embargo has denied Iraq the equipment and expertise needed to clean up the former battlefields, as well as the technology for diagnosing cancer and drugs for treating it.
Claims of Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction, the justification for sanctions, are untrue, says Scott Ritter, a former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq. “By 1998, the chemical weapons infrastructure had been completely dismantled or destroyed,” he explains, adding that biological, nuclear, and long-range ballistic missile weapons programs had also been “eliminated”.
In an empty Security Council chamber at the UN, Pilger concludes: “Do the representatives of the powerful who sit here in the Security Council ever think beyond their so-called interests and maneuvers and about their victims, small children dying needlessly half a world away? It’s time we reclaimed the United Nations. While you’ve been watching this film, countless children have died silently in Iraq. How many more will die before the silence is broken?
( 25.6.2023 ) NATO/Ukraine preparing nucleardisaster in South Ukraine :
Amid numerous disturbing reports about possible false flag operations involving nuclear devices and weapons, the Kiev regime seems to be escalating its actions in this regard. According to various local sources, the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), located in the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk in the Nikolayev region (oblast), has been effectively taken over by the Neo-Nazi junta forces. Although troops have been stationed in and around the NPP since the start of the special military operation (SMO), in recent weeks this has escalated. Apparently, mysterious “guards” have appeared at the NPP and have even restricted access to the reactor facilities, including to the staff responsible for the critically important maintenance of the reactor and the NPP’s key systems and subsystems.
Worse yet, the “guards” are offering no explanation for their behavior, nor does anyone else, be it the military or civilian authorities. In essence, nobody really knows for sure, but many people are skeptical (to say the least). The “guards” have even placed what can only be described as ammunition crates inside the NPP. And it doesn’t seem to be small arms ammunition, but something much bigger, such as shells or even rockets, all of which have foreign markings. For over a year, there have been numerous reports about the Kiev regime hiding NATO-sourced weapons there, obviously in an attempt to prevent their destruction. Needless to say, having any sort of weapons at a nuclear facility of any kind is suicidal in and of itself, but having shells and rockets stored there is simply criminal.
Latest intelligence data suggests that the South Ukraine NPP is also being used as an ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) command and control center for most NATO forces covertly stationed in Ukraine. This is hardly unexpected and is in line with the previous message Russia sent to the belligerent alliance after it hit an underground bunker where hundreds of NATO officers were deployed to command and coordinate their favorite puppet regime’s troops. According to varying estimates, up to 400 officers and other staff were neutralized in a hypersonic missile strike (presumably involving a single 9-A-7660 “Kinzhal”). Obviously, in order to ensure such high casualties among high-value assets are avoided, NATO most likely decided to deploy its higher-ranking personnel in NPPs, knowing that Russia will not target those.
This could also explain why the United States and NATO are suddenly parroting about invoking Article 5 in case of a supposed Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons or if an attack on an NPP causes radiation spikes. Both scenarios clearly imply that a false flag is in the works, as this is precisely how the political West operates during its countless aggressions against the world. The belligerent power pole first threatens to attack in case the side they are targeting does something, and then, all of a sudden, the targeted country supposedly does “exactly that”, even though it’s clearly not in its interest. Obviously, such a scenario is virtually impossible to implement against a country like Russia without leading to a world-ending thermonuclear confrontation.
In the recent months there have been multiple reports containing different information about the use of depleted uranium weapons in Ukraine. Due to the rapidly changing events and partly contradictory statements by different officials and media, it is hard to tell with certainty, what party of the conflict has already used weapons containing depleted uranium. Further problems arise from the fact, that DU issue is being further instrumentalized by different actors with e.g., Russian officials claiming that DU projectiles are nuclear weapons.
Regardless of which belligerent uses DU weapons, that use will result in widespread environmental and public health damage and is extremely problematic under international (humanitarian) law.
DU Use by Ukrainian Forces
According to our research, Ukraine does not have its own depleted uranium rounds. The United Kingdom has confirmed that Ukraine will receive depleted uranium shells, also the United States are planning to supply this type of weapons. Even more alarming are the news regarding the new contract awarded recently to Rocketdyne, which concerns the production of of DU rounds for M1 Abrams tanks. In light of this information, it seems that the US is not planning on phasing out DU ammunition after all.
Our position regarding this news has not changed either:
ICBUW regrets and condemns the decision of the British government to supply depleted uranium ammunition and urges the United States to refrain from supplying this type of ammunition to Ukraine and to rely on less toxic alternatives instead.
The topic of the supply of UK-made depleted uranium ammunition seems to be surrounded by fake news as well. One example is the report, that a warehouse storing British-supplied depleted uranium ammunition was destroyed in Khmelnitsky, claiming that radiation levels were rising in the aftermath of the strike. There is zero evidence, that the warehouse was a “depleted uranium storage facility”, the reports on radiation levels have also been dismissed as false by the IAEA.
DU Use by Russian Forces
Russia has a significant number of different DU rounds in its arsenals. There were multiple reports regarding the use of DU round by the Russian forces, however, we were unable to independently verify that this type of ammunition was already used in Ukraine. The initial reports by GICHD suggested that Russian-made depleted uranium ammunition was already found in Ukraine, but after further clarification, we received information, that the 3BM-32 round was included in the Explosive Ordnance Guide as a precautionary measure.
Due to secrecy, there is also some degree of uncertainty regarding the types of ammunitions in service with the Russian army, which have depleted uranium sabots. According to our research, 3BM-60 (“Svinets-2”) contains a depleted uranium-tungsten alloy penetrator. This information finds it’s confirmation in various sources, including Kommersant newspaper (see their recent article), TASS (see this report from 2018) and Zvezda (see this article). Based on this information, articles speaking of the “tungsten” core of the Svinets-2 appear to be misleading, i.e., telling half-truths regarding this type of ammunition.
Even though there is still no independent confirmation of the use of DU weapons by the Russian army, threats of DU use coming from Moscow are alarming. In June, Russian president Vladimir Putinstated that depleted uranium ammunition was not used so far in the conflict by Russia, but Russia reserves the right to use it if the Armed Forces of Ukraine use the US-/UK-supplied DU rounds. In this regard, ICBUW reminds, that the use of a weapon illegal under international law by one party of conflict does not justify the use of the same weapon by other belligerents. Such use only amplifies the adverse effects on the local population, contributing heavily to the environmental catastrophe.
We continue to follow reports of shipments or use of military equipment with depleted uranium components or DU ammunition and invite everyone with relevant information to share it with us.